Call me a liar, a king or a fool, just sing me a song of prosperity.
Darrethy kept a song in his head as he walked, any deviation on this trip to one of the false notes would surely lead to his swift and immediate death. He was heading to...where in the mortal world...the herb garden and nearby lake would be, while the Raven's Gate was shifted like this he had to be careful of the twisting and winding pathways. In the shadow realm everything was...so slightly..different, the weakening veil so thin that an errant move would send you hurtling miles and miles away .
In the darkness he could make out particular souls of interest, other shadow walkers in the Arakkoa who sought refuge in the darkness....or the bright souls of Unborn Val'kyrs and undead conglomerations with multiple essences poured into their being, the alchemical transmutations involved in their creation so complex that they simultaniously existed in both universes at once.
Food for thought.
As he glanced down at the lake, he braced himself just a moment...his eyes seeing the shadowy terrors that lay just beneath, then without sparing another moment he launched himself into the pool. One part of the key was down here he knew, he hid it every other day before leaving...the Shadow Council getting a hold of it was a risk he just couldn't take.
The water was so cold that by all logic it should of frozen over, it filled his lungs and tore at his flesh, threatened to freeze his body and shatter it into a dozen pieces. Yet he had done this so many times that it hardly bothered him anymore, slowly he began swimming through the shadowy water, making the subtlest gestures to the void beings within that they were the prey...not him.
While the water was pitch black, he could tell where he needed to go just by the song....and within short order, he could see the dim light of a cave just ahead of him, he could see that despite those gestures a few of the shadowy entities had gathered around his being as they would often do, he could feel the blood draining away from his body as the leech like apperitions attached to his body, extracting the usually vital essence without so much as making a puncture wound in his skin. The problem wasn't for him of course, he didn't need blood to 'live' as it were...but that wasn't the real problem.
It's times like this that you can appreciate the difference between loss, and sacrifice.
For the first few minutes...this was going to hurt.
He could feel the metal hook whisk past his head...it was supposed to do that after all....then pull back rapidly and ram itself clean through his torso, he didn't scream...he knew better then to scream out here besides...and instead merely gritted his teeth as he was violently pulled through the caves as quickly as possible. Barely dodging onrushing stalactites.
Water erupting around him Darrethy was pulled onto the dry portion of the cave....well relatively dry, the sand was soaked in blood and animal entrails, all pretense of subtlety in the Shadow Realm tossed aside for what would be to most mortals, raw horror. Entrails hung from the ceilings rocky spikes and bits of flesh clung to the walls. Both from unwary unwanted visitors and animals alike he knew.
A titanic abomination stood in front of him, it's massive body stitched together from Gronn and Clefthoof as much as Alliance soldiers. It's enormous form seemed to glow with the excessive magical energy poured into it's being, it's gigantic entrails leaking alchemical concoctions as much as mundane things like blood or other bodily fluids. It's massive back arm tugged again as it attempted to pull Darrethy onto it's cleaver.
Even with it's brutish weapons and simple mind, it's hard not to love him with all my heart.
Demonic wings erupted from the warlocks back at the last moment, launching him just out of the way and sheering off one of the leeches in the same movement. With an exertion of physical force he simply tore himself from the hook, his enhanced regeneration already repairing the damage even as it left his torso.
Yet that didn't stop him from smashing into the cave wall, in an instant the abomination was rushing towards him with it's free hand outreached, if he was grabbed it would crush his incorporeal(And Corporeal) form almost instantly, instead it merely smashed into the wall as Darrethy rolled to the ground and tore another leech from himself.
One hand was cut from his arm in the cleavers uppercut, making things much more difficult...he wished he could have summoned Domixia to assist in the task, but with his incomplete knowledge of the shadow world he was afraid of what opening a demonic portal might do. Instead he simply had to dodge and roll away as he got rid of the parasites.
The chain whisked by again and Darethy just barely managed to roll as the blade soared over his head, crashing into the unidentifiable remains of some unlucky thief instead, he paid little mind to the other traps in the room...poisoned darts, the now rapidly rising water, they made little difference unless the void things came up with the water,,,and he doubted they wanted to be in the same room with the giant anymore then him.
The abomination stepped forward, the very earth shaking as it did. "Drown with me."
Another leech was torn from his body just as the creature reached out, some of the Ogre parts taking hold of it's mind even if for only the briefest of moments. Frosty spears formed in the ocean depths and with a gurgling roar, they launched themselves in rapid succession at the Warlock.
Darrethy dodged one, two, almost three....but almost didn't cut it, and he was spun in the water as it clipped his chest, the flesh freezing over and killing another of the parasites. Silver lining he supposed just as the brutes closed fist smashed him into the wall.
He gritted his teeth and pulled on the very last one....latched onto his neck, even as the energy was slowly being crushed from his body. He could feel his chest cave under the punch, the sheer force threatening to flatten him just as he yanked it free.
Suddenly, blood rushed into his system...or what could be passed off as blood anyway...the black substance pumping into his veins as magic rapidly filled the void left by the shadowy leeches, more importantly it spilled out of his wounds and into the water. Just as the Abomination was raising his cleaver, his arm stopped in mid air, it's enormous sharp toothed maw opening so wide that the top of his head seemed to almost flop back to his neck, a purplish tongue briefly tasted the now bloody water.
"Master." it intoned, letting Darrethy sink back to the cave floor and regain his energy.